Posted On Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 09:13:28 AM
Championship leader Fernando Alonso secured his second consecutive pole position on Saturday when he outpaced his rivals in qualifying for Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
The two-time world champion drove his Ferrari with supreme judgement and great elan to prove he is the man to catch and beat in this year’s title race as he goes in pursuit of his third drivers’ title. The Spaniard was four-tenths of a second fastest ahead of nearest rival and defending double champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber of Australia.
Webber German local hero and seventime champion Michael Schumacher, 43, was fourth fastest in front of a big crowd of his dedicated fans, with another German, Nico Hulkenberg, taking fifth place on the grid for the Force India team.
Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams was sixth ahead of the McLaren pair of Britons Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, whose bright promise in dry conditions in practice on Friday was not converted into grid positions in the rain. Button’s relative success in taking seventh place was the first time this year that he has outpaced Hamilton in qualifying.
Another Briton, Paul Di Resta, was ninth in the second Force India, ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. Romain Grosjean of Lotus, Schumacher’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and Webber have been handed a five-grid penalty for unscheduled gearbox changes